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  1. by Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network Learning of your new diagnosis can be overwhelming under any circumstances. Learning of your new diagnosis that no one has heard of, let alone understands, can trigger complex feelings and reactions. If you are reading this article, you have likely been diagnosed with dysautonomia recently or many years ago, or know someone who has. Prior to your diagnosis, you may have spent years searching for explanations for your symptoms. And during that search, you could have been told those symptoms are "all in your head" or "you're too y
  2. By: Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network Perhaps, you've worked with your boss to make accommodations for your health at your job. You've been open with coworkers about your dysautonomia, and you've developed a handbook of pretty clever tricks to get through your workdays. Maybe you've even changed jobs in an effort to find a career that doesn't make you sick. Even still, you've used up all of your PTO, you can barely function when you get home from work, and weekends are consumed by trying to "heal" as much as possible so you can do it all over again next week. If thi
  3. by Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network Mental health conditions, like depression, are often difficult to talk about because of their stigma. If you live with dysautonomia and depression you may be even more hesitant to talk about your mental health needs out of fear that your dysautonomia will be dismissed as "all in your head." Unfortunately, this can lead to improper treatment of dysautonomia, depression, or both. However, we rarely discuss how it is normal to live with BOTH depression and dysautonomia. In fact, research demonstrates that about 25 to 33% of people
  4. By: Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network One of the many difficult aspects of living with dysautonomia is that very few products are designed specifically for our needs. The medications we take are usually considered "off-label" for dysautonomia, we use hydration products designed for athletes or children, and assistive technology is often created with other populations in mind. I will continue to dream of, and advocate for, a world where people with dysautonomia have a voice in the creation of technologies that support our everyday lives. In the meantime, this articl
  5. By: Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network If you have ever worked while living with a hidden chronic illness, you have probably struggled over whether or not to share your illness with your boss and coworkers. You've likely asked yourself questions such as: Should I tell my boss about my illness? Should I tell my coworkers? When should I tell them? Will I be treated differently once they know? These are big questions, and there is not one, correct way to answer them. The choice to disclose your health condition(s) at work is a personal one, and only you can decide the
  6. By: Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network If you are working and managing your chronic illness stop now. Take a deep breath, remind yourself that you are a rock star, and give yourself a high-five. It is difficult for anyone to have a career and manage the responsibilities of life such as family, household tasks, and self care. Throw chronic illness into that mix, and anyone who can balance their health and a career is a superhero. Or magician. Maybe a bit of both. If you aren't working, but are managing your chronic illness, remember that taking care of your health is
  7. By: Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network Living with chronic illness often feels like one big Catch-22. For example, we need to work to survive, but working can be so tough on our bodies that it causes precarious health. Many of us have left jobs we love as a result, but it's also in these moments that we need our reliable income the most to cover our medical bills and other expenses. If you can relate to this, you've probably had a roller coaster of a career path - like me - as you try to figure out just what job, exactly, will work with your body. One option is to co
  8. by Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network Emotional service animals (ESAs) have been a hot topic of discussion lately. Most likely, you have heard about people who have registered pets as ESAs in order to waive pet fees at apartment complexes, or to fly with their furry friends for free. However, these animals can be invaluable to people with mental health conditions, who may get therapeutic benefit from their companionship. Knowing the difference between people who are abusing the classification and people who are benefiting is always tricky, but knowing the proper channels
  9. by Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network Pet ownership is known to have positive impacts on depression, anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate, to name just a few benefits. The advantages of having a furry (or scaly, or feathery) family member are no secret - 68% of US households have at least one (1). The values of pet ownership have been such a hot topic lately, that they have led to some confusion around the differences between pets, emotional support animals (ESAs), and service animals. The misuse and abuse of terms like ESA and service animal have created particul
  10. by Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network You can't imagine your life without your furry best friend. The two of you have an inseparable bond that brings you comfort, joy, and companionship. Perhaps, your dog has even picked up on your needs over the years and lends a helping paw when you need it (e.g., your dog senses when you are lightheaded and braces their body against yours to provide some stabilization). This companionship has had you considering the benefits of a service dog for some time, but you have always been concerned about costs or adding another canine to your
  11. by Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network Living with chronic illness is so much more than dealing with a myriad of physical symptoms. Some of the most common struggles our members deal with are unanswered questions about the future: Will I ever get better? How will I support myself? Will it get worse as I get older? How will it affect my relationships? Navigating the unknowns of living with chronic illness is such a common and impactful experience that researchers have developed a term for it - illness uncertainty. Research has found that this type of uncertainty is heighten
  12. by Chelsea Goldstein, Dysautonomia Information Network Anxiety, similar to dysautonomia, is clouded by stigma and misunderstanding. You may have encountered the female hysteria stereotype at some point, and you may have even experienced judgement due to this label or others like it. Unfortunately, many people with misunderstood health conditions, such as dysautonomia, are hesitant to openly discuss anxiety because our symptoms are so often dismissed as "all in our head" and we are told we can solve them if we "just relax". Even more, many medical professionals don't understand how t
  13. <p>http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/705183</p>
  14. <p>http://journals.lww.com/anesthesiology/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2000&issue=08000&article=00041&type=fulltext</p>
  15. <p>http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16698864&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum</p>
  16. <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ9bv7jx-Ls&feature=channel</p>
  17. <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CatWlEGPqG4&feature=related</p>
  18. <p>http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11710800&dopt=Abstract</p>
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